Joannes Zonaras

Joannes or John Zonaras (Greek: Ἰωάννης Ζωναρᾶς, Iōánnēs Zōnarâs; fl. 12th century) was a Byzantine chronicler and theologian who lived in Constantinople. Under Emperor Alexios I Komnenos he held the offices of head justice and private secretary (protasēkrētis) to the emperor, but after Alexios' death, he retired to the monastery in the Island of Hagia Glykeria,[1] (Incir Ada, in the Aegean Sea), where he spent the rest of his life writing books.

Written works

His most important work, Extracts of History (Greek: Ἐπιτομὴ Ἱστοριῶν, Latin: Epitome Historiarum), in eighteen books, extends from the creation of the world to the death of Alexius (1118). The earlier part is largely drawn from Josephus; for Roman history he chiefly followed Cassius Dio up to the early third century. Contemporary scholars are particularly interested in his account of the third and fourth centuries, which depend upon sources, now lost, whose nature is fiercely debated. Central to this debate is the work of Bruno Bleckmann, whose arguments tend to be supported by continental scholars but rejected in part by English-speaking scholars.[2] An English translation of these important sections has recently been published.[3] The chief original part of Zonaras' history is the section on the reign of Alexios I Komnenos, whom he criticizes for the favour shown to members of his family, to whom Alexios entrusted vast estates and significant state offices. His history was continued by Nicetas Acominatus.

Various ecclesiastical works have been attributed to Zonaras — commentaries on the Church Fathers and the poems of Gregory of Nazianzus; lives of Saints; and a treatise on the Apostolic Canons — and there is no reason to doubt their genuineness. The lexicon, however, which has been handed down under his name (ed. J. A. H. Tittmann 1808) is probably the work of a certain Antonius Monachus (Stein's Herodotus, ii.479 f). The first ecclesiastical denunciation of the game of chess on the part of the Eastern Orthodox Church was voiced by Zonaras. It was during his retirement as a monk to the monastery of Mount Athos that he wrote his commentary on the canons of the Eastern Church. The Quinisext Council required both clergy and laity to give up the use of dice (Canon 50). Zonaras wanted chess to also be included for clergy and laity to give up. Zonaras, commenting on Canon 50, wrote, "Because there are some of the Bishops and clergy who depart from virtue and play chess (zatikron) or dice or drink to excess, the Rule commands that such shall cease to do so or be excluded; and if a Bishop or elder or deacon or subdeacon or reader or singer do not cease so to do, he shall be cast out: and if laymen be given to chess-playing and drunkenness, they shall be excluded."


  1. ^ Fresco, Karen L.; Wright, Charles D. (ed.) (2012). Translating the Middle Ages. Oxford, New York: Routledge. p. 150. ISBN 9781315549965. Retrieved Sep 3, 2017.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
  2. ^ Bleckmann, Die Reichskrise des III. Jahrhunderts in der spätantiken und byzantinischen Geschichtsschreibung : Untersuchungen zu den nachdionischen Quellen der Chronik des Johannes Zonaras. Munich, 1992.
  3. ^ Banchich and Lane, Zonaras, 2009.


External links


Aemilianus (Latin: Marcus Aemilius Aemilianus Augustus; c. 207/213 – September 253), also known as Aemilian, was Roman Emperor for three months in 253.

Commander of the Moesian troops, he obtained an important victory against the invading Goths and was, for this reason, acclaimed Emperor by his army. He then moved quickly to Italy, where he defeated Emperor Trebonianus Gallus at the Battle of Interamna Nahars in August 253, only to be killed by his own men a month later when another general, Valerian, proclaimed himself Emperor and moved against Aemilian with a larger army.


Ambustus was a cognomen that distinguished a patrician branch of the gens Fabia. "Ambustus" was Latin for "burnt".

Prominent members of this family include:

Quintus Fabius M. f. Q. n. Vibulanus Ambustus, consul in 412 BC.

Marcus Fabius Q. f. Q. n. Ambustus, pontifex maximus in 390 BC.

Caeso Fabius M. f. Q. n. Ambustus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 404, 401, 395, and 390 BC.

Numerius Fabius M. f. Q. n. Ambustus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 406 and 390 BC.

Quintus Fabius M. f. Q. n. Ambustus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 390 BC.

Marcus Fabius K. f. M. n. Ambustus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 381 and 369 BC, and censor in 363; supported the lex Licinia Sextia, which granted the plebeians the right to hold the consulship.Fabia M. f. K. n., daughter of the above, married Servius Sulpicius Praetextatus, tribunus militum consulari potestate in 377, 376, 370, and 368 BC.

Fabia M. f. K. n., daughter of the above, married Gaius Licinius Calvus Stolo, consul in 364 and 361 BC.

Marcus Fabius N. f. M. n. Ambustus, consul in 360, 356, and 354 BC, princeps senatus triumphed over the Tiburtines.

Gaius Fabius N. f. M. n. Ambustus, consul in 358 BC.

Marcus Fabius M. f. N. n. Ambustus, magister equitum in 322 BC.

Quintus Fabius Ambustus, nominated dictator in 321 BC, but compelled to resign due to a fault in the auspices.

Gaius Fabius M. f. N. n. Ambustus, appointed magister equitum in 315 BC, in place of Quintus Aulius, who fell in battle.

Arria (gens)

The gens Arria was a plebeian family at Rome, which occurs in history beginning in the final century of the Republic, and became quite prominent in imperial times. The first of the gens to achieve prominence was Quintus Arrius, praetor in 72 BC.

Battle of Mediolanum

The Battle of Mediolanum took place in 259, between the Alamannic Germans and the Roman legions under the command of Emperor Gallienus.

Irene of Hungary

Saint Irene of Hungary (1088 – 13 August 1134), born Piroska, was a Byzantine empress by marriage to John II Komnenos. She is venerated as a saint.

John Rufus

John Rufus (born c. AD 450) (also called John of Beth Rufina) was an anti-Chalcedonian priest of Antioch, a disciple of Peter the Iberian and an ecclesiastical historian who served as the bishop of Maiuma. He wrote the Plerophoriae and The life of Peter the Iberian, the Commemoration of the death of Theodosius

John was born in the province of Arabia around 450 AD and studied jurisprudence at the Law School of Beirut. He was ordained a priest in Antioch around 475 by Peter the Fuller. Upon the return to power of emperor Zeno and the expulsion of Peter the Fuller in 477, John moved to Palestine where he became a disciple of Peter the Iberian. Upon Peter the Iberian's death, the bishopric at his monastery of Maiuma passed on to Theodore of Ascalon whereas the Plerophoriae' names John Rufus as the bishop of the city.

Liberatus of Carthage

Liberatus of Carthage (6th century) was an archdeacon and the author of an important history of the Nestorian and Monophysite controversies in the 5th- and 6th-century Christian Church.

List of Byzantine scholars

This is a list of Byzantine scientists and other scholars.

Macrianus Major

Fulvius Macrianus (died 261), also called Macrianus Major, was a Roman usurper. He was one of Valerian's fiscal officers. More precisely, sources refer to him as being in charge of the whole state accounts (A Rationibus) or, in the language of a later age, as Count of the Treasury (Comes Sacrarum Largitionum) and the person in charge of markets and provisions. It seems almost certain that he was an Equestrian. The Historia Augusta claims that he was the foremost of Valerian's military commanders, but that is most likely a gross exaggeration, if not entirely fictitious.He followed Valerian during his ultimately catastrophic campaign against the Persians in 259 or 260; however, he remained at Samosata during the fatal battle of Edessa and his role in the events before and after the battle is questionable. After Valerian's capture by Sassanid Emperor Shapur I, Valerian's son Gallienus became sole emperor, but was occupied with his own problems in the West. Macrianus grabbed the opportunity. With the support of Callistus, one of Valerian's military commanders, and with the influence that possession of the treasury of Valerian brought, Macrianus managed to have his two sons Macrianus and Quietus elevated to the throne. He himself was not able to assume the purple because he was deformed in one of his legs.Quietus and Balista stayed in the East to secure their rule. Macrianus Major and Minor marched the eastern army from Asia to Europe, but were defeated in Thrace in 261 by Aureolus. Macrianus and his son were killed in the battle. According to Joannes Zonaras, their army was encircled by Aureolus and surrendered, except for the Pannonian legions. Macrianus asked to be killed with his son to avoid delivery to Aureolus. Quietus was later murdered by Odaenathus of Palmyra.

Marcellinus Comes

Marcellinus Comes (died c. 534) was a Latin chronicler of the Eastern Roman Empire. An Illyrian by birth, he spent most of his life at the court of Constantinople, which is the focus of his surviving work.

Matthew of Edessa

Matthew of Edessa (Armenian: Մատթեոս Ուռհայեցի, Matteos Uṛhayetsi; born in the second half of the 11th century – 1144) was an Armenian historian in the 12th century from the city of Edessa (Armenian: Ուռհա, Uṛha). Matthew was the superior abbot of Karmir Vank' (Red Convent), near the town of Kessoun, east of Marash (Germanicia), the former seat of Baldwin of Boulogne. He relates much about the Bagratuni Kingdom of Armenia, the early Crusades, and the battles between Byzantines and Arabs for the possession of parts of northern Syria and eastern Asia Minor. Byzantine authors such as Joannes Zonaras and Anna Comnena were well versed in their particular spheres, but uninformed regarding Edessa and neighboring lands which are treated by Matthew.


Ostrogotha was possibly a leader of the Goths during the Crisis of the Third Century.

A Goth named Ostrogotha is mentioned by the 6th-century historian Jordanes. He reports that Ostrogotha crossed the Danube during the reign of Philip the Arab and invaded the provinces of Moesia and Thrace. The later emperor Decius could not defeat him either, whereupon Ostrogotha again raided Roman territory. Jordanes claims that Ostrogotha was the progenitor of the Ostrogoths, and that he was succeeded by Cniva.

Jordanes' account differs with those of Zosimus and Joannes Zonaras, who do not mention Ostrogotha. His historicity has been questioned.

Publius Postumius Tubertus

Publius Postumius Tubertus, the son of Quintus, was the first of the patrician gens Postumia to obtain the consulship, which he held in 505 BC, the fifth year of the Roman Republic. Together with his colleague, Marcus Valerius Volusus, he fought against the Sabines, whom they defeated decisively near Tibur, obtaining a triumph.Postumius was consul for the second time in 503 BC. Livius records that he fought and defeated the Aurunci and the town of Pometia, obtaining a second triumph. Other authorities state that he fought against the Sabines again, at first with little success, but that he was eventually victorious, and was awarded an Ovation, or lesser triumph, which he celebrated on 3 April 503 BC. This was the first occasion that this honour was bestowed upon a magistrate of the Roman Republic.In 494 BC, Postumius was one of ten ambassadors sent by the Senate to treat with the plebs gathered on the Mons Sacer during the first secession. The envoys successfully negotiated to forgive some of the debt owed by the plebs and established the office of the Tribuni Plebis, or "Tribunes of the People", who received the power to veto acts of the Magistrates and the Senate.In consequence of his deeds and reputation, Postumius and his descendants were accorded the privilege of being buried within the city walls.


Quintillus (Latin: Marcus Aurelius Claudius Quintillus Augustus; Died April 270) was Roman Emperor for a few months in 270.

Spurius Carvilius Maximus

Spurius Carvilius C. f. C. n., later surnamed Maximus, was the first member of the plebeian gens Carvilia to obtain the consulship, which he held in 293 BC, and again in 272 BC.

Theodora of Khazaria

Theodora of Khazaria (Greek: Θεοδώρα των Χαζάρων) was the second Empress consort of Justinian II of the Eastern Roman Empire. She was a sister of Busir, Khagan of the Khazars, but their relation to other Khazar rulers such as Bihar, father of the future Empress Tzitzak, is unknown.


The toupha or toufa (Greek: τοῦφα / toûpha or τουφίον / touphíon) is a kind of ornamental crest or head-dress with a plumage of the feathers, hair or bristles of exotic animals, worn in classical antiquity as a triumphal decoration. In surviving depictions, it is most often seen on military helmets and emperors' crowns.

One of the most famous touphas is that which surmounted the crown or helmet of the bronze equestrian statue of the emperor Justinian I atop the column of Justinian, erected by said emperor, which stood in the Augustaion square of Constantinople. The toupha was made of gilded bronze, with a design of peacock-feathers. It is known primarily from a life-drawing of the statue made in the 15th century; the entire monument was later demolished. Particularly imposing in size, the head-dress fell from the statue in the 9th century and was remounted by an acrobat. A rope was stretched between the roof of Hagia Sophia and the summit of the column, by means of an arrow. Along this line, one could tightrope-walk to the statue. The emperor Theophilus rewarded the tightrope-walker with 100 gold nomismata for this exploit.

In colloquial language, toupha or typha came to mean a "tiara", and the 12th-century historian, Joannes Zonaras, even records that a verb, typhoomai ("to be filled with extreme arrogance"), was derived from it.

Valerianus Minor

Licinius Valerianus (also known as Valerianus Minor) (died 268 AD) was the son of the Roman Emperor Valerian and his second wife Cornelia Gallonia; his half-brother was Gallienus, whose mother Mariniana was the first wife of their father. Sometime between 253 and 264 AD he was made suffect consul, and was appointed ordinary consul in 265 AD. He died in the wake of his brother's assassination in 268; Joannes Zonaras reported that he was killed at Rome, whereas Eutropius and the Historia Augusta state that he was murdered at Mediolanum.


Zonar may refer to:

Joannes Zonaras

Zonar, Iran

Byzantine historians
5th century
6th century
7th century
8th century
9th century
10th century
11th century
12th century
13th century
14th century
15th century

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